An app has just been released that allows users to walk their friends home remotely.
Designed by five students from the University of Michigan, the Companion app enables users to request a friend or family member to virtually keep them company and track their journey home via GPS.
If the user deviates from their intended path, is pushed, falls, starts running, or has their headphones quickly pulled from their phone, the app asks the user if they're okay, which the user must confirm within 15 seconds.
If the okay button isn't pressed, or a real emergency is occurring, the app turns the phone into a personal alarm system that makes loud noises and gives the option to instantly call the police.
While the app was originally designed with US university campuses in mind, people in other countries can still use the app by entering their phone number, together with country code.
Lexie Ernst, co-founder of the Companion app and business and computer science student at the University of Michigan, told the IBTimes UK:
We've had a lot of people outside the US downloading the app. Since we launched, we've had dozens of emails from people in the US, as well as many other countries like the UK, Belgium, France and Norway.
As well as alerting the police and their chosen companion, users can also select an "I am nervous" button when they feel unsafe. Just one week after launching the second version of their app, the creator's collected 500 incidents where their users felt nervous while walking alone.
The makers of the app currently hope to keep their app free for their users, only monetising it by working with universities.
Visit their website here and download the Companion app for yourself, and see how it works in the video below.